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Quality Of Care vs Lack Of Standardised Inspections

There would appear to be something problematic happening in our care homes. Many people will be familiar with the horrible tales of abuse and neglect which have been publicised, showing the elderly and vulnerable being taken advantage of where we most expect them to be looked after and respected.

Results from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) appear to show that there are many more care homes in the South East and Yorkshire & Humberside regions which fall into their “inadequate” rating than anywhere else in the country. They don’t just top the table for the most homes labelled with this rating, they absolutely run away with the undesirable title – 17.5% of all care homes in these areas failed miserably upon inspection. It’s nearly double the amount of the region with the next most inadequate care homes, with London having 9%.

Of course, there were failures across the country, but where in the East Midlands only 5.4% failed – and in the West Midlands only 2.5% (the lowest on the table) – it would seem to suggest there is something wildly amiss. It’s left the burning question of whether the inspections being carried out are standardised well enough, or whether there really is such disparity between the care given in different regions of the country.

There is the suggestion that some inspectors are being more lenient and others being more heavy-handed with their assessments. A new system for rating care homes came into action last year to help provide a blanket assessment, but some say the scheme needs time to bed in before the rewards of such standardisation are realised.

The results are clearly upsetting, not least for the people with loved ones residing in such facilities. Critics of the CQC and their inspections say that they do more harm than good. Where an inspection gives the all clear, the time could probably have been better spent, while an inspection which finds failings is too late to help those who are actually affected by the poor care. It’s felt too much is swept under the carpet for inspections, with the crucial details missed on a one-off visit.

Whether inspection helps or hinders is a debate which rages on, but something which no one can argue against is how specialist the care of the elderly – and especially those with mental illnesses – is, and how under qualified some of the people in the industry are. Not only do we need staff who specialise in dealing and caring for such people, but we also need responsible people in charge of the care homes, ensuring the setup and the provisions are in place. 

At Aedifice we are expert care home and healthcare property consultants. It’s our job to advise you on how best to construct, adapt and evolve such properties – this is more important than ever given the crackdown on inadequate care facilities and the proper focus on the wellbeing of residents. Contact us today for more information on our consultant and development services and our professional team will be happy to help.

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